1. The Fastest Way To Turn Around Job Burnout

    If you want to understand just how bad burnout can get, consider the story of Melissa Sinclair, an employee at Time Out New York.

    Melissa rose to internet fame in recent weeks after Time Out New York inadvertently posted an employment listing on the job-search site Indeed that detailed her current unmanageable workload. The post explains, “Currently, we have an agreed budget of $2,200 per issue for a freelance Photo Editor, 10 hours work at $22 p/h, which would normally be completely fine, however the issue is that Melissa physically cannot find good enough candidates to fill these freelance positions, and at the current rate of magazine production, she needs multiples people available to work on multiple cities, simultaneously. Because she can’t find people for these freelance positions, she’s been forced to do all of this work herself and is currently completely swamped and overwhelmed.”

    Unfortunately, a lot of people reading the posting can probably relate. Fifty percent of Americans say they are constantly drained by work—a figure that’s nearly tripled since 1972, according to the 2016 General Social Survey, an annual sociological survey conducted each year by the research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. The costs of burnout are huge. Left unchecked, chronic stress contributes to depression, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders.

    If you’ve personally experienced burnout, you know first-hand how difficult it can be to recover. Sometimes no amount of time off (even if you take it) seems to help.

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  2. If we were having coffee today…

    Do you ever wish you could have coffee with your the bloggers and people you follow online? Because, let’s be real, many of us follow the lives of our “internet friends” more than our real life buds these days.

    Blogger Jess Lawlor does “virtual coffee dates” where she shares details of her life. Jess Lively (a podcaster I adore) also does a version of this called “Things I’m afraid to tell you”.

    Since I love these posts so much, I thought it would be fun to do my own version. Just as if we were sitting down over a cup of joe to chat.

    So here goes…

    If we were having coffee today… I’d tell you that I’m drinking decaf. I quit caffeine a few months ago. While the adjustment was rough (to put it mildly), I have never felt better. For years I struggled with insomnia (hello to my fellow overthinkers!). After noticing my morning anxiousness was also getting worse, I decided it was time to test quitting coffee. And WOW, what a difference. My mental focus lasts longer, I fall asleep easily, and I feel so much more calm.

    If we were having coffee today… I’d tell you that I moved to Jersey City, NJ recently. I’m a Jersey Girl born and raised, so it’s a full circle moment that’s left me feeling grounded and energized. It’s my first time living with a partner (both entrepreneurs, both working from home), which has been an adventure, but I think it’s only made our relationship stronger.

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  3. Lessons Learned on the Road to 31

    I turned 31 last week!

    I can’t believe it. 30 flew by in a flash.

    I’m not a big birthday party person. I celebrated simply and sweetly. Quality time with family and friends, a few good cocktails, and catching up on errands, doctor’s appointments, and home improvements. Glamorous, right?

    Birthdays encourage me to reflect. This year broke me open in many ways: a move, health challenges, and big business successes and failures. This particular birthday really had me thinking because it also marked the end of a milestone year.

    To celebrate the occasion, I wanted to do something a little different than my usual blogs.

    Today I want to share with you important lessons learned on the road to 31:

    1. Trust your gut. Listen to your intuition. Your emotions are data, not bullsh*t.
    2. Being sensitive is your biggest source of strength. Use that gift daily.
    3. Don’t let external forces define what success means to you. The most important opinion is the one you hold of yourself.
    4. Self-compassion isn’t lazy or “letting yourself off the hook”. It’s what releases you from fear and allows you to take action.
    5. Allow other people to help you. Accept compliments with grace, instead of pushing them away
    6. That thing you’re afraid to say, write, or do? Yeah, that’s the thing you MUST say, write, or do.
    7. Find what gets you into flow, and design your days to optimize what helps you be your best.
    8. You only have to be brave five seconds at a time.
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  4. How to Stop Your Strengths from Becoming Weaknesses

    Given the choice, most people try to play to their strengths. A naturally athletic child will sign up for lots of sports teams; a friendly, outgoing college student who loves being surrounded by people will likely prefer a career in teaching over a job in IT.

    For the past 20 years, this philosophy—strengths-based theory—has dominated everything from career development and leadership to education and psychology. But research suggests that relying too much on our strengths can lead to major blind spots.

    A client who I work with as a career coach, “James,” is a great example of a person who can take his strengths too far. Like many managers, James is an expert problem-solver. In every personality assessment he’s ever taken, being analytical is a quality that comes forth as his dominant strength.

    But at times, James’ tendency to rely on logic in every situation, no matter the context, becomes a roadblock. Type A to a fault, he values structure and planning above all else, which is hard to come by in the fast-paced tech company he works for. And so he can get tripped up when he needs to respond quickly to change, and perhaps alter his previous plans. He becomes paralyzed because he feels out of control. And so his problem-solving strength becomes a handicap.

    Too much of a good thing

    In this sense, we’re all a bit like Wonder Woman. The DC comics superhero is masterful warrior because she grows up on the all-female Paradise Island.

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  5. 3 Ways to Trick Your Brain Into Being More Productive

    The summer slowdown is upon us. Right now you may feel a little unmotivated, to say the least. Unless you’re one of those lucky people who works from the beach, it can be hard to concentrate on the task at hand during the summer months.

    You may be dreaming of your vacation and time off, but if there’s still work to do then you need to find a way to kick your motivation into high gear — fast.

    The truth is, if you keep waiting for inspiration to strike, you’ll be waiting forever. Procrastination can be difficult to overcome, but it all starts with tiny steps that help you take action, then building off that momentum to propel you forward.

    If you’re stuck in the summer slump, try one of these productivity tricks to get your head back in the game and get things done:

    Identify exactly what’s stopping you.

    When you attempt to get started on something, what causes you to give up? Pay attention to the reasons why you procrastinate. By playing the observer, you can spot where your excuses or self-doubt may be tripping you up.

    Work in sprints.

    In software development, a sprint is a burst of focused, short-term effort on a single feature. You can take a note out of the Agile playbook and apply it to your own work. Time-bounding helps you leverage the power of small wins. By making your goals concrete and measurable, you’ll be able to appreciate and be motivated by your progress.

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  6. The Surprising Truth About Finding Your Passion

    Like many Millennials, I was told I could become whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. Before the age of ten I cycled through dreams of acting, singing, and becoming a veterinary pharmacist (true story).

    Trying to find my passion was a near-obsession that followed me into adulthood. Ironically, all along I ignored what was naturally good at, including my knack for empathy, my love for writing, and an incurable curiosity about human behavior.

    They say hindsight is 20/20, so today I clearly see how these strengths shaped my career. But for a long time, I searched for my passion as if it was a lost treasure chest that I simply needed a map to find.

    Why Finding Your Passion Is a Myth

    Despite what we’re told, passion is something that unfolds over time. It’s discovered through life experiences. Your “dream job” isn’t an exact destination, either. It’s constantly evolving. The ideal career when you’re in your early 30s may eventually become a poor fit, even by the time you turn 40.

    So what do you do if you have no idea what your passion or life calling is?

    First, don’t panic. Finding your purpose doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a messy, iterative undertaking that takes time, patience, and a healthy dose of self-reflection. You’ll get there, but you have to start by taking small steps.

    That starts by asking yourself some key questions about how your past experiences, struggles, and triumphs have shaped you.

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